The Burden of Proof and Other Challenges in Injury Lawsuits

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Answers to Some Common Questions About Negligence Claims

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Filing a negligence claim can ensure that you get your medical bills paid after being injured at a storefront or elsewhere, as well as costs for lost wages and the like. A negligence claim can also be a good way of making a store or business owner take responsibility for their property and ensure that their grounds, products, and the like are safe for everyone. Note a few commonly asked questions about negligence claims and then talk this over with an attorney if you think you might have a case.

1. Is negligence only when someone violates the law?

Violating the law by not having a store up to building codes can mean that an owner is negligent, but note that it's not always actual laws that are considered when it comes to negligence cases. Usually a court will take into account what a "reasonable" person would do or expect in such a case. For example, a reasonable person would know that a chipped floor in an entryway can cause a tripping hazard, even if that damaged floor doesn't violate building codes. Don't assume that written laws are the only reason for a negligence claim but talk to an attorney about a potential case you have, whether or not laws are involved.

2. What if I'm partly at fault?

There is no hard-and-fast answer to this type of question, but note that even if you are partially at fault for an injury, a business owner may still be negligent. For example, you may trip over that chipped floor in the entryway because you were on your cell phone and not paying attention to where you were walking, but the business owner may still be negligent for having a floor in disrepair in the first place.

3. Is a business owner responsible if an employee was negligent?

In many cases, a business owner may be responsible for the actions of their employee and especially if that owner was negligent in providing proper training, equipment, and the like in order to avoid accidents or injuries. For instance, if a business owner doesn't instruct an employee on how to mark off wet floors and you slip where an employee just mopped, the business owner may be considered negligent and liable because of that poor training. If you've been injured at a business because of the actions of an employee there, don't assume that you don't have a negligence case but discuss the details with an attorney.